More than dozen migrants missing after boat sinks off Karpathos, Greece

A coast guard vessel arrives with the dead bodies of migrants at the port of Vathi on the eastern Greek island of Samos [File: Michael Svarnias/AP]

An extensive search and rescue operation has been initiated east of the island of Karpathos after a boat carrying scores of migrants and refugees reportedly sank overnight.

On Wednesday, the coast guard reported that 29 individuals had been recovered from the water 33 nautical miles (38 miles, 61km) east southeast of Karpathos, an island between Rhodes and Crete.

According to the coast guard, those rescued were from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, and they told officials there were between 60 and 80 people on board the vessel when it sank.

Those rescued stated that the vessel had set sail from the region of Antalya on the southern Turkish coast and was bound for Italy when it encountered difficulties at night.

According to the coast guard, two coast guard patrol boats, a Greek navy vessel, an air force helicopter, and at least three ships sailing close participated in the search and rescue operations.

Most asylum-seekers from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa have traveled from Turkey to the surrounding Greek islands.

With Greek authorities strengthening patrols in the Aegean and allegations of deporting new arrivals to Turkey without allowing them to request asylum, many migrants are now attempting to circumvent the Greek islands and take the much longer and more difficult voyage directly to Italy.

The Greek government denies committing illegal summary deportations of asylum applicants.

Publish : 2022-08-10 16:41:00

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